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Local business creates autism-friendly environment with ‘AUsome Sundays’

Sunday is Easter, but it is also the start of autism awareness month. One local business is making it a little easier for children with autism to go outside and play.

Every first Sunday of the month Adventure Zone caters specifically to children with special needs. It’s called “AUsome Sundays”. From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. the center dims its lights and lowers the sound of the arcade games.

“We do reduce the noise substantially,” Aime Phillips, Adventure Zone’s outreach coordinator, said. “It’s called sensory overload. They perceive the noise around them a lot differently than others so it may be a little more intense. We do provide three quiet rooms in case that does happen.”

Phillips said they also allow outside food and drink during that time. Phillips is a mother to a child with autism, and knows first hand how helpful that can be.

“Our son is autistic and he was diagnosed when he was three and we couldn’t bring him here because he would get over stimulated,” Phillips said.

On Sunday, April 1, the center held an Easter egg hunt for the children. Joel Rodriguez is the father of 6-year-old Santiago. He said having a comfortable environment for Santiago to play in is helpful.

“Santiago and I don’t have a lot of things we do together and the go-carts is one of the things he just loves doing,” Rodriguez said. “So being in there together, watching him enjoying it, it’s a good father son moment for me.”

To learn more about “Ausome Sundays” click here.

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